Incorporate Raised Gender Sensitivity Issues In EACOP ESIA Report

There is concern that previous Environmental Social Impact Assessments reports have not paid enough attention to gender issues or protected women. COURTESY PHOTO There is concern that previous Environmental Social Impact Assessments reports have not paid enough attention to gender issues or protected women.

By Paul Kato

Gender issues during the previous processes to capture data to guide compensation of Project Affected People (PAPs) displaced by the oil refinery and Tilenga projects were not well captured by the relevant authorities including National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) resulting into families bitterly separating and divorcing.

The said gender issues were not only missed during data collection but even information provided during the consulting meetings were not clearly indicated in the Environmental Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) report by NEMA.

This is likely to happen again during the compensation of East African Crude Oil pipeline (EACOP) PAPs.

It is noted that during the oil refinery and Tilenga compensation, many gaps on gender issues, especially for women, girls and unmarried youth, were left out. This contributed to Total’s calling for more comments from CSOs last month.

The two ESIA reports did not incorporate gender issues well; for instance, the ESIA reports did not mention how women and girls would benefit from the oil projects especially sharing opportunities offered by the project like employment and business deals.

The ESIA reports are also silent on how women will benefit from the business opportunities that will come up once the project is up and running. Equal pay for the same work, safe working conditions, access to quality education and health services are not mentioned.

Girls that had already dropped out of schools seeking for employment and businesses in the oil fields and the unmarried youth who are above 18 years were excluded from the compensation forms. This means that the report recognized only the wife and husband.

Despite the fact that both the wife and husband names appear on the compensation forms, the ESIA reports did not indicate the percentage share for women. The reports did not indicate the compensation for crops which belong to women in the family. Sometimes, women have their own gardens.

The EACOP report should show the gender-sensitive issues clearly because, in the oil refinery and Tilenga cases, many oil affected families separated because of compensations which were not addressed properly.

Therefore, gender sensitivity issues should be considered well to avoid unfairness in the coming EACOP compensations. I call upon NEMA to ensure that gender sensitivity is well incorporated in the EACOP ESIA report before compensations.

Paul Kato is a Research Associate at Africa Institute for Energy Governance

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